SD5 approves spending for annual grant

Board of Education tackles budgets and plans a meeting with local MLA at meeting last week.

Budgets and meeting with the provincial government was on the minds of school district trustees at the latest school board meeting last week.

Meeting in Sparwood on Tuesday, the board passed a motion to set up a meeting with Kootenay-East MLA Bill Bennett to talk about school district priorities.

The board also addressed the issue of an Annual Facilities Grant, which allows for funding for capital maintenance projects in schools across the district.

Proposed by Debbie Therrien, the president of the District Parents’ Advisory Committee, the proposed meeting with Bennett will address a number of issues.

Frank Lento, the chair of the SD5 school board, noted that from his perspective, the most important priority is the replacement of Mount Baker Secondary School, but added that it’s important to hear from partner groups like the DPAC and other educational stakeholders to stay up to date on their concerns.

The board also passed three readings of the Annual Facilities Grant, which goes towards school maintenance and capital projects. That money totals approximately $1.2 million, which will be distributed throughout the district.

“This is an annual grant that is allocated to all the districts throughout the province for capital expenditures,” said Lento.

“They could be refinishing gym floors—in fact, quite a few in Cranbrook are going to refinish gym floors. There could be some boilers or there could be some roofs that need to be replaced—those type of things.”

The board also passed first and second reading for their annual budget, which must be submitted to the Ministry of Education before the end of June.

“We’re almost there, there are just a few little things we have to do,” said Lento. “We don’t have to pass it till the end of June, but we have given it first and second reading.

“Staff is anxious to get on because once we pass the budget, there are different projects they can do, so the sooner, the better.”

Representatives from the Kootenay Ice also made a presentation to pitch a midday game for next February that can be attended by schools across the district.